South Africa's Brait takes control of gym chain Virgin Active
South African investment company Brait on Thursday bought a majority holding in British-based health club chain Virgin Active for £682 million ($1.02 billion, 949 million euros).
Virgin Active, owned by Richard Branson's Virgin Group and private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, said in a statement that Brait has agreed to buy an 80 percent stake.
CVC will sell all of its holding, while Virgin Group will retain 20 percent in a deal that remains subject to regulatory approvals.
Brait, which is listed in Johannesburg and Luxembourg, added that it had plans to expand the chain further into Africa and Asia.
Virgin Active, which was founded in 1999, has 267 clubs in nine countries around the world, with a total of more than 1.3 million adult members. It has branches in Australia, Britain, Italy, Namibia, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain and Thailand.
"Virgin Active is a business that we are proud to have been associated with from the very beginning, over fifteen years ago," said Branson in the statement.
He added: "We are delighted that we will continue to play a part in this alongside Brait, another long term investor with a strong track record in growing businesses, and would like to thank CVC for their support of the business during their period of ownership."
© 2015 AFP